Stories from East Africa

14 stories

Adzanumee and her Mother

By and

The woman thought, ‘if only this fine yam were a daughter, how happy I should be.’ To her astonishment the yam answered, ‘If I were to become your daughter, would you promise never to reproach me with having been a yam?’

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Anansi and Nothing

By and

This is why, if you find a child crying and ask the cause, you will often be told he is ‘crying for nothing.’

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Anansi the Blind Fisherman

By and

Anansi continued his fishing with the help of two men. The latter were exceedingly kind to him, and aided him in every possible way. But instead of being grateful to them, Anansi behaved very badly.

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How we got the Name ‘Spider Tales’

By and

Nyankupon was amazed at Spider's cleverness in fulfilling the three conditions. He immediately gave him permission for the future to call all the old tales Anansi tales.

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How Wisdom became the Property of the Human Race

By and

Next day Kweku Tsin saw his father quietly slip out of the house, with his precious pot hung round his neck. Kweku Tsin followed. Then, selecting the highest and most inaccessible-looking tree, Father Anansi began to climb.

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Morning Sunrise

By and

The man bade ‘Morning Sunrise’ lie down on her bed as if she were dead. He then sent the report of her death to each of the three lovers, asking them to come and help him with her funeral.

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The Grinding-Stone that Ground Flour by Itself

By and

Spider's cousin, while hunting one morning, had discovered a wonderful stone that ground flour of its own accord. Not being a greedy man, he took away with him only enough for his family's needs.

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The Squirrel and the Spider

By and

Squirrel appealed to the law, but the court decided that no one had ever had a farm without a road leading to it, therefore the fields must be Spider’s.

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Thunder and Anansi

By and

Anansi's first thought was to run home and give all his family a good meal from his wonderful pot. A selfish, greedy fear prevented him. ‘What if I should use up all the magic of the pot on them, and have nothing more left for myself!’ So, his mind full of this thought, he hid the pot.

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Tit for Tat

By and

Meat had become so scarce that only the rich chiefs had money enough to buy it. The poor people were starving. Anansi and his family were in a miserable state.

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Why Spiders are Always Found in the Corners of Ceilings

By and

The harvest was quite ten times greater than any they had ever had before. Egya Anansi was very well pleased when he saw his wealth of corn and beans.

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Why the Lizard Continually Moves his Head Up and Down

By and

One day the king made a proclamation that his three daughters would be given as wives to any man who could find out their names. Anansi made up his mind to do so.

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Why We See Ants Carrying Bundles as Big as Themselves

By and

Anansi took his big sticks and beat so hard that the dwarf fell down dead. The greedy fellow was now thoroughly frightened, for he knew that the dwarf was favourite jester to the King of the country. He wondered how he could fix the blame on some one else.

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Why White Ants Always Harm Man’s Property

By and

Leopard and Wolf promised the ants that on their return they would spread a feast for them. Unfortunately, Spider heard the invitation and made up his mind to benefit by it.

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